Ding dong dog

Dakota puppy

After wonder dog Brandy came the golden retriever Dakota, otherwise known as Ding Dong Dog. Where Brandy had sense and a calm disposition, Dakota had….well I don’t know what she had except that I’m not sure if she could have more than one thought at a time in her head. And preferably it was an EXCITING thought.  There wasn’t a mean bone in her body, but at 80 pounds in adulthood, her exuberance made her a bit of a handful.  I had rugs with the fringe chewed off and kitchen chairs where the lower rungs were scarred.  Just the right height for a resting puppy to occupy herself.  Rawhide chew toys that were supposed to last weeks were consumed in 2 days.  She definitely did not have the soft bird mouth that Brandy had.  I wish Cesar Milan had been around then as some of his advice would have been quite helpful.  She finally was able to be calmer when she was about 6 1/2.  We had 30-40 teenagers over for a 2000 New Year’s Eve party and all of that activity with so many people finally forced her into brain overload.  After that she was able to have a bit more self-control.

I don’t normally do portraits of people but this photo just seemed so cute.  And Dakota looks so innocent.  Once again I sketched out the picture in pencil and then inked with the  nib pen.  The only part I am unhappy with is the lower lip.  It should be a little bit rounder.  All in all however, since I haven’t done a person portrait in years I am not too displeased.  After the inking, I started in on the watercolor layers.  I took most of the afternoon alternating with the lower collie picture.  Once again I want to not overdo it.  In some ways now I may be too far in the other direction and not putting enough color in.  It is such a fine line.  I will look at these again tomorrow.

Collie portrait

This collie picture is based on a picture of the pet of a relative.  I love sable collies, having grown up reading books by Albert Payson Terhune.  I wanted a Lad of my own and did have a wonderful, gentle collie for a few years after college.  He, like Brandy, was wonderfully balanced and a joy to be around.  Sadly we lost him too soon.  I am pleased with the balance of colors on him although I may come back an add a little bit more definition to the head with the pen.

I’m not sure where I will go from here.  I have a zoo trip in the offing and perhaps another road trip visiting small southern Indiana main streets.  I do have a few more pet photos.  I haven’t decided whether or not to list these in my Etsy store.  Maybe I should set up some listings for breed pictures.  Doing portraiture on commission is a lot scarier than the home portraits.  Our eyes forgive a lot more in architecture than they do in living portraiture.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jaci
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 19:10:02

    I loved hearing about your fur babies, and their portraits are amazing!


  2. ruthsartwork
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 19:13:35

    Thanks, Jaci. I’ve been having some fun. Chat talk of the dogs has made me nostalgic.


  3. incidentallearner
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 19:59:51

    Great work!! Well done.


  4. ruthsartwork
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 20:02:46

    Thanks. I hemmed and hawed with myself before I decided to use the girl.


  5. Cindy D.
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 10:56:34

    Both great, and I think they have a really nice balance of color. Both dogs are so adorable! You really captured a sweet dog personality in them. Here’s an idea! One of your architectural buildings, but a dog house, with a dog outside. A meeting of two worlds! 😀


  6. Debi
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 13:16:30

    Cute idea, Cindy! I love the dogs, Ruth. So sweet and full of personality!


  7. ruthsartwork
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 20:50:25

    Thanks Cindy and Debi. I’ll have to see what photos I have that I might be able to use.

    Dakota certainly was cute as a puppy. Little did we know.


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